Book Review + Giveaway: The Night Has Claws by Kat Kruger

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I’m delighted today to be a part of The Night Has Claws blog tour hosted by Fierce Ink Press. I also have an ecopy of the book to give away so please make sure you keep reading right to the end of this post for details of how to enter!

Title: The Night Has Claws (The Magdeburg Trilogy #2)
Author: Kat Kruger
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Publisher: Fierce Ink Press
Publication Date: September 2013
Pages: 199
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
What happens when you’re the thing that goes bump in the night?

Connor Lewis and Arden LaTène are experiencing a reversal of fortunes. Arden, once a prominent werewolf, has been cured against his will. As a result, he’s now considered dead by his former pack and has lost his longtime girlfriend in the mix. Connor, a newly created werewolf whose DNA has inadvertently led to the creation of the cure, now has to make some important decisions about his future and is not sure who to trust. Should he join a pack or try to go it alone?

When Connor is summoned by the Hounds of God to testify against the human scientist who developed the cure, he’s forced to choose sides. Comprised of humans bitten by werewolves, the Hounds have been the lawmakers and enforcers for hundreds of years, ensuring werewolves don’t endanger the lives of humans and exacting justice upon those who do. On the other hand, the pack werewolves have been persecuted for centuries and are seeking to tip the balance of power. Adding to his confusion is Madison Dallaire, the girl Connor has complicated feelings for, who has embarked on a path of corporate espionage.

In the second book of The Magdeburg Trilogy, Connor’s loyalties are pushed to the limits as he faces the challenges of being a modern werewolf caught in the grip of an ancient feud.

My Review:

After loving the first book in the Magdeburg Trilogy, The Night has Teeth,  I had high hopes for the second book. I’m delighted to tell you that The Night has Claws did not disappoint. Incorporating the characters I had adored with more of Kruger’s delightful writing and incredible take on werewolves, this book is even better than I was hoping.

Conner and Arden have both been bitten recently – only with entirely different outcomes. Conner is still trying to navigate his new life as one of the fanged and furry whereas Arden has been left for dead by his pack. Kruger has a great way with words. There are moments when I was reading this book when I was just struck with how much I enjoyed how she would phrase things. And how she would describe the world that Conner has found himself in the middle of. The way he discovers the way of the wolves and we the readers get to see things as he does is brilliant. These wolves do things are just as crazy to him as they are to me and there’s something about that I find comforting and somewhat disturbing. This is also one of those series where the setting adds to the ambiance. This is not a book which could be set just anywhere but rather the European influence becomes a part of the book – and that’s something I truly enjoyed about this book.

There’s a lot of young adult books around dealing with werewolves but Kruger’s treatment of the supernatural hounds sets this book apart. Whilst Conner may think that werewolf society is a little messed up, I found that these wolves are interesting and have a great history surrounding their condition. I like the born vs. bitten differences and the strange customs which the wolves maintain. These are not sweet and romantic dog but rather a little more gothic and bloodthirsty. They reminded me a little of Kelley Armstrong’s wolves in her Women of the Otherworld series in a good way.

If I was to describe this book using one word, that word would be “more”. More excitement, more of the characters I love to read about, more back story and – I just want more! The Night Has Claws is a brilliant follow-up to the first book in the series and has me eagerly anticipating the third and final book in this horrifyingly good trilogy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Fierce Ink Press

About the Author

Kat Kruger is a freelance writer and social media consultant with a degree in public relations from Mount Saint Vincent University. The Night Has Teeth is her first novel and won the 34th Atlantic Writing Competition. She splits her time between Toronto and Halifax with her husband.

Website | Twitter  | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY!

Fierce Ink Press is generously offering one ebook copy of the The Night Has Claws for me to give away. Open internationally and ending one week from today (on the 2nd of October 2013) to enter all you need to do is comment on this post and I’ll randomly select one commenter to win the ebook copy of this spectacular book!

Book Review: I Wolf by Matt Boyd

Title: I Wolf
Author: Matt Boyd
Genre: Supernatural, action 
Publisher: ABC Books
Publication Date: 1 June 2013 
Pages: 279
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Sixteen-year-old Romy suffers from a disease that will send him mad…and ultimately kill him. His last hope is to travel to an isolated castle in Austria, where a cure is promised. But the treatment is drastic. Romy is turned into a werewolf.

When Romy meets Antonia, beautiful, headstrong and a natural-born werewolf, he slowly starts to come to terms with life as a lycanthrope. But then a spate of grisly night-time murders are reported and wild animals are suspected. What has Romy become?

My Review:

Matt Boyd’s debut novel, I Wolf, is an exciting tale featuring one of my favourite supernatural creatures – werewolves! Romy (aka. Romulus) is a sixteen year old who has been facing a death sentence since before he could remember. He’s had a terminal illness hanging over his head and no sign of a cure… until now. Romy’s father has found a secretive, exclusive and somewhat mysterious program in Austria who might be able to save Romy. Not completely sure what the treatment entails, Romy and his family set off from Australia and travel to Europe in hopes that the program may save his sanity where everything else has failed before.

I Wolf features a fantastic breed of werewolves. The account of the shifters history and just what it means to be a wolf in this universe is strong. Romy’s feelings whilst running in his beast form was one of my favourite parts of the novel to read – it was rich with thoughts and feelings. The romance angle between Romy and Antonia felt a little off-putting and awkward – adding nothing to the overall plot as it didn’t feel natural for the characters. The secondary characters of Nat and Dimitri added a lot to the story and brought out Romy’s humanity – which I felt was a little lacking even before the treatment.

This story is a little raw in terms of emotion. I thought that Romy was an accurate narrator with regards to the werewolf lessons and action but he was a little lacking when it came to emotion and feeling. There are some rather terrible and dramatic things that happen to him after arriving in Austria but he doesn’t let the emotions rise to the surface and rather moves on with the next course of action.

I thought that the flow of this novel at a little disconcerting at times with there not being a solid direction of just what the characters were doing. But there were other times when I was there with Romy and his pack as they went on their adventures.

Overall, I found this book to be a great quick read and I loved how Matt Boyd created his particular breed of werewolves. I feel like this book would be devoured by younger readers as it lacked a little depth and emotion for me personally but I think I’d have loved this book back when I was 12 or so.

Thanks to HarperCollins and Netgalley for the digital review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Book Depository

Book Review: Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer

 

 

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Title: Spirit (Elementals #3)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Magic
Publisher: Kensington (I received an ARC from NetGalley)
Publication Date: May 2013 (Allen & Unwin are publishing Spirit in Australia in June 2013)
Pages: 301
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…

My Review:

I don’t know how Brigid Kemmerer does it. With every word I read in the Elementals series – be it a full length novel or novella – I fall more in love with the stories, the series plot and especially the characters.
Spirit is Hunter’s story. He’s on the outs with the Merrick brothers, his mother is still weeping over his father’s death six months ago and his grandfather thinks he’s a delinquent – a theory that’s only strengthened when the headmaster rings home after Hunter is accused of assaulting another student.

And then he meets Kate. Sassy and strong, the new student makes Hunter feel like no girl ever has before. But as sexy as the mysterious transfer student is, she’s also secretive and may or may not have a boyfriend. Hunter’s father taught him to use everyone else before they use him but as Hunter gets to know the Elementals he’s starting to question everything he’s ever known.

I wasn’t expecting to love Spirit as much as I did. But I fell in love with how terribly life treats Hunter. He’s only sixteen but has been though so much. He survived a car accident that claimed the lives of his father and uncle, he’s somehow managing to cope with a withdrawn mother and grandfather who doesn’t know how to deal with his tattooed and pierced grandson. And I have to say it’s a fantastic thing for Hunter that he knows people who can draw on the elements to heal…

And through it all Hunter manages to pick himself up and try to carry on as he thinks his father would have wanted him to. His relationships with others are rocky and trust isn’t something that comes easily to the Spirit Elemental. But he evolves throughout the book. His romance with Kate was my favourite relationship to read so far in this series. They’re not conventional but somehow they work so well together.
The Merrick brothers and their other halves are brilliant in this latest instalment of the Elementals series. They add a spark of drama but in the end are there of each other (and Hunter if he lets them) when it storms. I really enjoy how Chris, Becca and Gabriel pop in and despite their happy endings, they aren’t over glamourized as characters. They have their faults and their finding love hasn’t completely changed their personalities.

This is my favourite book in what is quickly becoming one of my favourite series. I can not wait till early next year when the fourth book (Nick’s story!) is released.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon
Book Depository 


Optional Goodies:

— code for free download for the Elementals ebook (available on Kensington site only, through link below):

http://bit.ly/105eIEt

The promo code is: VCARD

It’s active until May 31st.

 

I’m delighted to have participated in the Spirit blog tour hosted by The Midnight Garden. I recommend stopping by and checking out the character interviews, exclusive content and giveaways!

TMG blog tours

Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

This review will contain slight spoils of the first book in the series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Title: Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) 
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: fantasy, angels, young adult, demons, supernatural
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (an imprint of Hachette), Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: November 8th 2012
Pages: 513 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them.
And its snap split the world in two.

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world.

My Review:

Karou is still reeling after Akiva and the wishbone revealed their secrets. Her family gone, her heart-broken and she’s now stuck in a war between Angels and Chimera. Feeling betrayed and lonely, Karou tries to find some piece and purpose in the world.

Much like it’s predecessor, this book is beautifully written. It makes reading every page a pleasure. I love the emotions of the characters that come across in thoughts and interactions. The plot is epic. It’s interesting and creative with twists that make perfect sense and yet I never saw coming. This book involves more than just Karou and Akiva – there are scenes with Chimera and Angels along the way that add to the brutality of the war that’s taking place. And there’s also Zuzana. I love the pocket-sized dynamo. She adds comic relief and a few laughs when the tension Karou thrives on gets to be almost too much. Her interactions with Mik are both humorous and delightfully romantic.

Karou is a little darker in this book. The things she does are taking a toll on her soul and she’s devastated about her feelings regarding Akiva. I loved getting some more insight to Akiva and his background. By the end I was feeling equally heartbroken on his behalf as I am for Karou. The world of the Chimera is an interesting one to be a part vicariously though her. There are some truly evil characters in this novel and their actions are at times truly scary.  The Angels are equally fascinating to read.

I have loved every moment I have spent reading this book and am a little devastated that I have to wait till 2014 for the next instalment of this fantastic series.

Many thanks to The Reading Room for providing me with a copy to review

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository

Read for the 2013 TBR Pile Challenge


Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) 
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: fantasy, angels, young adult, demons, supernatural
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (an imprint of Hachette), Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 432 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):

Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. ‘He never says please’, she sighed, but she gathered up her things.

When Brimstone called, she always came.

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she’s a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in ‘Elsewhere’, she has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn’t whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

My Review:

Karou, the girl with blue hair and mysterious tattoos, has grown up always knowing she was different. Her guardians are part human, part animal creatures anyone else would find scary but she just knows them as family. She’s a girl of two worlds but doesn’t quite fit in either one.

When her worlds collide, Karou finds there more to either of her lives that she ever expected.

The first thing I want to say about this book is how beautifully written I found it. The language is lovely. Reading it was an absolute pleasure. I love Laini Taylor’s style and whilst I could have devoured this book in a matter of hours I wanted to savour the words and make it last.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an original story. With a monster collecting teeth for possibly nefarious purposes, a stalker ex-boyfriend who larks around Prague pretending to be a vampire and a best friend who may be lacking in stature but a giant in soul. The fantasy world in which this book is set is remarkably detailed and beautifully described. I loved following Karou and finding out the secrets along with her.

The characters were fantastically interesting – from the humans Kaz and Zuzana to Brimstone and Issa. Even the mysterious and impossibly beautiful Akiva. These are characters I loved reading about and couldn’t wait to find out what came next for them. Karou is a someone with whom I have next to nothing in common and yet as I read on I found myself seeing myself in her – she’s strong with moments of weakness, scared and yet fearlessly brave. She has her secrets and finding out about her history and present was a fantastic journey.

In this novel, Laini Taylor has written a beautiful tale of fantasy and adventure. There’s romance, heartbreak and a plot that kept me enthralled long after reading the final page. The second book in the series, Days of Blood and Starlightwas released in November 2012 with the third book expected to be published sometime in 2014.

Many thanks to The Reading Room for providing me with a copy to review

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository